Improving the Sgp Through a Proper Accounting of Public Investment

22 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2004

See all articles by Olivier J. Blanchard

Olivier J. Blanchard

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics

Francesco Giavazzi

University of Bocconi - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research (IGIER); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: February 2004

Abstract

The Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) contains a serious error: the way governments are expected to account for public investment. Correcting this error and applying, as article 104.3 of the EU Treaty allows, the current rules of the Pact to a measure of the budget where the treatment of investment expenditures is done properly would, over time, drive the debt-GDP ratio to the ratio of public capital to GDP. Excluding net public investment from the definition of the budget that is relevant for the Pact would also help in the short run, by inducing countries to shift the composition of domestic demand, rather than to reduce its level.

Keywords: EMU, stability pact

JEL Classification: E62

Suggested Citation

Blanchard, Olivier J. and Giavazzi, Francesco, Improving the Sgp Through a Proper Accounting of Public Investment (February 2004). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 4220. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=508203

Olivier J. Blanchard

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics ( email )

1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Francesco Giavazzi (Contact Author)

University of Bocconi - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research (IGIER) ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy
+39 02 5836 3304 (Phone)
+39 02 5836 3302 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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